Kent has a long tradition of bringing the world and its culture to campus. Another important step to creating global citizens is giving our students opportunities to participate firsthand in the world’s culture outside of classroom walls. These experiential expeditions bring students and faculty members beyond the gates of Kent to destinations in the United States and around the globe.
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
This summer Kent’s Marine Science program returned to the impressive Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University in Fort Pierce, Florida. After being introduced to HBOI by Scott Buzby '47, this is the second trip Kent has undertaken to HBOI. While the previous trip was lead by faculty member Connor Wells, this year’s trip found Science Department Chair Jesse Klingebiel, new faculty member Hannah Gousse and a small group of students eager to expand on our understanding of marine systems.
Facilities tours were a large part of our agenda as the breadth of HBOI’s research is impressive. Deep sea submersibles, aquaculture, bioassays for medically useful molecules, dolphin identification and sampling (via cross bow!) and environmental monitoring of the nearby Indian River Lagoon were demonstrated to the Kenties. Phase two of the trip was more active participation as we identified and dissected fish caught nearby, identified deep sea creatures collected on earlier HBOI expeditions and identified samples of crushed marine organisms by their calcium carbonate content. The final phase was independent research by each of our student participants. Topics explored by their work included the aquaculture and sushi connection, survival rates of manatees, bio-accumulation of toxins and how sea level rise will impact Floridian communities.
This summer’s Atlantic Ocean foray allowed Marine Science students to experience the similarities and differences between oceans as the two previous year’s week at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography focused their research in the waters of the Pacific.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA
Continuing the tradition of Kent School Marine Science exploratory summer programs, ten students and three Science Department faculty members were fortunate to have the hood of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UCSD opened for them to experience scientific research in action. Students and faculty spent the week in one of two laboratories. One, run by Dr. Stuart Sandin, explores fish biology and coral reef ecology. Students were involved in fish dissection, otolith fish aging, microscopic coral analysis and most importantly identification of tropical corals from digital photographs. TEDx presenter Kate Furbey shared her amazing research on zombie coral reefs and Dr Andy Nosal took us under his wing as he continued his work catching and tagging local leopard sharks off the La Jolla coast. In addition to the scientific work, there was time to snorkel with the local coastal marine community at the La Jolla Underwater Park Marine Reserve (to find sea lions!) and have an incredible insider’s tour of the aircraft carrier USS Midway in San Diego.
Lake Iliamna, Alaska
From June 11th- 18th, 2016, Science Chair Jesse Klingebiel, Jayde Bennett ’09 and a dozen Kent students traveled to Iliamna, Alaska, 150 miles southwest of Anchorage, in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. Thanks in large part to the generosity of Brandon Sweitzer ’60, this was the second trip that Kent has taken to the magnificent Intricate Bay Lodge. With a core agenda of understanding the aquatic ecosystems of the area, students plied the waters with fly rods and expert guides, collected invertebrates to discover the lower trophic levels and spent a morning with a native trapper and her husband to learn of her skills living off the land in this remote region. With no roads in the area, float plane and jet boats were the primary mode of transport and a highlight of the trip was a journey to Katmai National Park and its volcanically active landscape. While fishing, hiking and kayaking, students spotted numerous bald eagle, abundant water fowl and a few brown bears (fortunately at a safe distance!). It was an incredible experience for all to travel and learn in depth about this unique near arctic landscape. Trip Highlights Video Here.
Collège Ste Anne in Montreal hosted their third international conference, inviting delegations from their partner schools all over the world. The theme of the year was The School of Tomorrow. Five Kent students and two teachers spent the week in workshops, hearing speakers, and interacting with fellow students. One activity had students designing their ideal school, which ended up for many groups sounding a lot like Kent! Other highlights included a homestay with a local family, a jazz concert, an afternoon of curling, and dinner and traditional dancing at the sugar shack. Students and teachers alike returned to Kent with new friends and new inspiration for their future at Kent and beyond.
Shortly after Prize Day, Kent students and faculty journeyed to Paris as part of the Kent Expeditions program. The group spent the spring term learning about French culture through the lens of world cinema, viewing and discussing movies about French history, food, romance, crime, plus the New Wave movement and being a tourist in the City of Light. From their quaint hotel in the Quartier Latin, they explored all they had discovered in these various films. From the depths of the old sewers as in Ratatouille, up to the hilly cafés of Montmartre from Amélie, they explored all sides of Paris. Although the Louvre was a nine-minute race for the characters in Bande à Part, Kent students took a breath to enjoy all that it had to offer. And their time at Versailles, complete with bicycles and a picnic lunch in The King's Gardens, was an incredible day in the countryside. From the foods sampled at local cafés to the music heard in city squares to the flower markets that scented their walks, Paris delighted all senses!
Exchange in Great Britain or Argentina
Kent participates in the English-Speaking Union of the United States. The ESU Secondary School Exchange is a merit-based scholarship providing tuition, room and board for scholars to spend a semester or year between high school and college at a select British or Argentine boarding school.
More information can be found here: https://www.esuus.org/esu/programs/secondary_school_exchange/schools/
In June, 7 students and 2 teachers from Kent traveled to Cuzco Peru with Globe Aware for a 9 day mission to help villagers in a variety of ways. They lived in an 'albergue', which is a cross between a boarding school and an orphanage. Students from rural villages outside Cuzco come to the albergue Monday through Friday to attend school, as there are no schools in their villages. Our students worked with them on English and computer skills, and did some maintenance work around the albergue. Their big work project was building adobe stoves in homes in the villages of the students. Families in these villages live in one room adobe huts, with a central fire for heating and cooking, which is not very efficient, and produces a lot of pollution in the home. The adobe stove is built into the wall, and smoke vented out a window. The adobe holds the heat even when there is not a fire going. The trip was capped off with a day trip to Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Incan citadel situated on a mountain ridge almost 8000 feet above sea level.
The second week after graduation, Kent students traveled to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida to volunteer with Hearts of Palm Mission. Students spent their time working with the chronically homeless, a local food bank, a summer program for children and a wildlife sanctuary. Evenings were spent at the nearby beach, and the group had the opportunity to sail on the Intracoastal Waterway.